What is the earlier publication?
Earlier publication is one of China's examination systems to the patent application. According to a research to some countries with sophisticated patent system, a big amount of inventions have little commercial prospects, some inventions are not yet mature while some applications are submitted for the priority right. A research indicates that, generally speaking, one invention will be of little practical or commercial prospect if it has not been commercialized within two years since its filing date. Because of this, some countries always think it is not necessary to spend so much man-power, time and money to do substantial examination to those inventions, and leave a reasonably long time to the inventors to see the value of their inventions and thus to decide whether to apply substantial examination or not.
Netherlands is the first country to adopt this method, and now most of countries having patent system adopt the method either. This system is not only good to patent administration, because it can save a lot of time and man-power, but also good to applicants because they can either apply earlier or have the time to evaluate the practical value and prospect to the invention before they spend time and money to apply for further substantial examination.
According to article 34 of China's Patent Law, after receiving an application for a patent for invention, the Patent Administration Department under the State Council, upon preliminary examination, finds the application to be in conformity with the requirements of Law of Patent, it shall publish the application promptly after the expiration of eighteen months from the date of filing.